Chromecast's free Android 12 update will make movies look better with the appropriate TV

Chromecast's free Android 12 update will make movies look better with the appropriate TV ...

The Chromecast with Google TV is now able to receive an update to Android 12, which adds a number of additional features, including a feature that will be particularly beneficial to movie enthusiasts.

The upgrade is now coming to FlatpanelsHD (opens in a new tab)) with more privacy features, security upgrades, and options to control HDR and surround sound format settings, as well as frame-rate matching.

When you start a film, the last of these is the big one, so we''ll talk about more detail later down. It will also mean that the Chromecast can change from its standard 60 frames per second video output to 24 frames per second (correct for movies) on the fly. This means that you may have smooth cinematic motion on your TV as long as you have a 120Hz television.

If you don''t have a 120Hz TV, then this will not make any difference (again, we''ll cover why in a moment), but most new mid-range or premium televisions today have a 120Hz screen.

The Apple TV 4K has had this feature for a while, and it''s one of the reasons we consider it as the best streaming device in the world, so this update helps the Chromecast to catch up despite being much less expensive.

If you update the Android 12 version, the 4K Chromecast will correct bugs and improve the performance of the Google TV. (The newer, cheaper HD Chromecast with Google TV has already come with Android 12.)

Analysis: 24fps and 120Hz explained

The timing of getting the perfect cinematic motion on a TV is all about speed. Movies are made at 24 frames per second. Older or cheaper LCD/OLED TVs refresh (ie, show a new image on) their screen 60 times per second.

The problem will immediately be addressed here: 60 does not divide nicely by 24. This means that the timing of the films of the movie must not be changed entirely depending on how often the TV shows a new image, therefore some movie frames will be shown for longer than a 24th of a second, and some will be shown for longer.

Especially if you look at anything during a slow, consistant motion, such as a camera waving into a landscape rather than looking smooth, it''ll be slightly juddery, because the frame''s timing isn''t the same.

This is why you shouldn''t turn motion processing all the way off on these TVs at a very low level, and it should help to prevent this bias.

120Hz televisions have been introduced as a way to manage this trend. This means they''re compatible with anything that performed at 60 frames per second (since it''s a good doubling of the refresh rate), but they can also sync up with 24fps films, because 120 does not divide quite by 24.

In theory, with a 120Hz television, you can see 24 frames and turn the motion processing off to obtain natural cinematic motion.

This applies only to streams that receive 24fps, but many people send the video over HDMI at 60fps, resulting in that making life easier with 60Hz televisions. This means that even if you have a 120Hz TV, you still get the benefit of natural film motion, though some TVs had a feature that is used to restore the original 24fps motion as well as possible (on LG TVs, this is called ''Real Cinema).

The Chromecast''s ''Match content frame rate'' strategy is to make the streamer switch its output from 60fps to 24fps over HDMI when it detects that you''re watching a movie, and return to 60fps for television shows or anything else.

With your 4K Chromecast, you can enjoy the motion of a film the way it was intended to be.